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Unsharp Gerrit Cole tosses seven shutout innings in ALCS Game 3

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Gerrit Cole didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday in Game 3 of the ALCS, but he still managed to fire seven shutout innings against the Yankees. The right-hander allowed four hits and five walks while striking out seven on 112 pitches.

Cole found himself in immediate trouble as the Yankees hit back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the first inning after falling behind 1-0. Cole, however, got two quick outs. After walking Gleyber Torres to load the bases, Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the frame.

Wasting opportunities would be a theme for the Yankees throughout the game, as Cole allowed two more base runners in the second inning and neither scored. Two two-out walks were spoiled in the fourth. A two-out double by Edwin Encarnación and a subsequent walk by Torres were wasted in the fifth. Cole put up 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh before hitting the showers.

In his previous two playoff starts, Cole allowed four hits and a walk with 15 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings (ALDS Game 2), and two hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts across eight innings (ALDS Game 5). He hadn’t walked more than two batters in a start since July 27 in St. Louis. Cole hadn’t recorded single-digit strikeouts in a start since striking out four against the Indians on August 1.

The Astros are up 4-0 in the eighth inning, looking poised to take a two games to one series lead over the Yankees.

Apparent roster snafu changes Blue Jays pitching plans

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ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.

After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.

As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.

The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.

Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.

Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.